Watson wins Travelers Championship

CROMWELL, CT - JUNE 27: Bubba Watson holds the trophy after winning a three-way two-hole playoff after the final round of the Travelers Championship held at TPC River Highlands on June 27, 2010 in Cromwell, Connecticut. (Photo by Michael Cohen/Getty Images)

CROMWELL — Bubba Watson outlasted Corey Pavin and Scott Verplank in a two-hole playoff to win the 2010 Travelers Championship Sunday at the TPC River Highlands.

This is the 31-year old Watson’s first championship on the PGA Tour. He entered the final round six strokes behind leader Justin Rose. It is the largest comeback on the tour this season and the largest since Padraig Harrington came from six behind to win the 2007 British Open.

Despite a double-bogey on the 17th hole of the final round, Watson birdied the 18th to finish with a 66 pull into a three-way tie with Pavin and Verplank at 14-under for the tournament.

In the first sudden-death playoff at 18, Watson dropped his second shot inches from the pin for an eventual birdie. But Verplank countered with an 8-foot putt to tie. Pavin fell out of contention after hitting his second shot into the right bunker.

Verplank wasn’t so fortunate on 16. He bogeyed the hole, leaving Watson a short putt to win his first PGA Tour title.

Justin Rose, who entered the final round three strokes ahead, shot a 75 and finished three strokes back of the leaders.

This was the 20th playoff in tournament history, with the last coming in 2007 when Hunter Mahan won the title.

Watson is the ninth first-time winner on the tour this year. He earns 800 points and moves to No. 8 in the FedExCup standings.

Michael Fornabaio